Thursday, 20 April 2017

Cornish Kestrels Mating Part 22

Cornish Kestrels Mating,

When it comes to mating kestrel images I believe that today presented me with the finest opportunity I have had to work with a pair of birds that due to their behaviour patterns over three hours during the morning enabled me to predict where their next mating would probably take place during the afternoon,  I relocated my kit and waited for the moment,  The female kestrel was already present so I was able to pre-set my camera angle and composition by locking my lens onto her via my gimbal and also pre-set all camera settings including focus and remote shutter release,  What seemed like a long 50 minutes later the male arrived with prey,  She was already calling to mate so the male quickly stashed his lizard in some vegetation and in his hurry to mate made a very tight turn and crash landed on the females back and as you can see by the first image below, It looked somewhat clumsy,

But he soon gained some composure to continue what  tends to look like a difficult balancing act to complete anyway

It was interesting to watch the male continuously adjusting his balance by dramatic wing coordination

I am not sure but the mating sequence often seems to terminate at the time that the female looks back upwards towards the male

The male dismounts and returns to the hunt perhaps forgetting the lizard that he had brought in earlier but maybe the female has spotted it anyway

I  returned home a happy chappy and so pleased to capture a full frame front on mating sequence where the composition contains an unbroken clear sky backdrop creating good contrast to the birds that are well lit by sunlight from a shadow free direction and it has only taken seven years to achieve it !

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